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  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
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  • Dog-inspired Beers to Warm up the Fall

    The cooler temperatures have finally arrived, and with the chillier days come all of the local brewfests and Oktoberfest celebrations. They’ve been in full swing all month long, and I thought this would the perfect time to highlight some great beer companies whose dogs have inspired them to frothy greatness, or cater to those of us who just plain love dogs.

    Sea Dog Brewing, located on the salty coastline of Maine, got their logo from their Great Pyrenees, Barney, who served as apprentice brewmaster and the company’s figurehead until he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Great Pyrenees were originally bred to protect flocks, and Barney used those instincts to guard the brew kettle as it boiled. Visit one of their brewpubs in Maine, and raise a pint to the memory of Barney. (I suggest the Hazelnut Porter.)

    Read More
  • Choosing a Ferret as a Pet

    Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

    If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

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  • Catifying Your Home: Design for the pampered cat

     photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg photo IMG_2167800x533_zps154f0ed6.jpg As you all know, we're big fans of feline design (also known as "catification"). This is a story that includes a combining of households and some creative design from Mountain Cat Trees!

    When Eliza and Tiffany bought a home together in early 2014, they had to merge households. Eliza brought in her four cats (Agnes, Monkey, Judd and Naked) and a dog called Nora. Tiffany brought along her cats, Encore and Pluto, as well as her two dogs, Nova and Bebe.

    That's a big menagerie in anyone's book! Needless to say, the couple was concerned about how this “Brady Bunch” of animals would get along. They enlisted Mountain Cat Trees, makers of highest-quality, natural wood cat trees, scratching posts and cat shelves to help “catify” the new house to make it easier for animals and people to make the transition (read Mountain Cat Trees Inspire Felines to learn about their beautiful products!)

    Today, we're going to show you an entire gallery of their beautiful home and show you how simple it is to create your own home designs.

    Read More
  • Guide to Hiking Etiquette with Dogs

    Cooler weather is on the way, and as the leaves change their colors to red and gold hues, it means many of us will be once again hitting the trails with our best four-legged friends.

    Let's face it - nothing cleanses the soul like a relaxing hike through the wilderness. Whether you want to enjoy the rich colors of wildflowers in that remote desert valley, or just want to run a few miles through the pines, it’s important to make sure everyone out there has the same level of enjoyment as you do. So dust off the walking stick and renew your wild spirit, but make sure you follow trail etiquette when you take your pets along.

    Dogs are usually naturals on the trailhead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch them carefully - there are plenty of dangers in the wild - from poisonous mushrooms to cacti, and coyotes to rattlesnakes (not to mention hunters of the two-legged variety).

    This is why it’s so important to understand the basics of hiking etiquette. Here's a primer to get you started...

    Read More
  • Horse Theft: It Could Happen to You

    He received the phone call at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning from the boarding stables. The woman’s voice was sad, even apologetic, as she explained the horrible accident. His horse had colicked and died two days earlier. The woman he spoke to owned the boarding stable, and had been a close friend of the man for a number of years. He had just purchased the horse a few months previously, and it seemed a logical choice to board with the woman. But now he questioned his judgment as she expressed her sadness for his loss. She stated that she had paid a friend of hers to remove the corpse from her property and bury the animal in the desert. Could she please forward him a check for $250.00 to cover the cost of the burial?

    Immediately, he was suspicious. He had just visited the horse the previous weekend, and the mare had seemed perfectly fine. He knew that colic was a chancy illness and could strike without warning. Still, the situation seemed unlikely. He spent the next several weeks investigating the matter. When he asked where the horse had been buried, the woman claimed that she was not sure, as the backhoe driver had taken care of the actual burial.

    When he asked if she had contacted a veterinarian to have a necropsy performed, she said No, it didn’t seem necessary. His questions were unanswered, and his suspicions grew as the woman became obviously irritated with him. Soon, she threatened to contact the police if he trespassed her property during his amateur investigation. He complied, and instead spoke with friends of hers.

    Read More
  • 4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

    Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best four-legged friend as company. I don't know about you, but as I've matured, I've gained a stronger appreciation for the simple things in life. While we probably hiked when we were younger, we may not have noticed the rich hues of wildflowers or the tenacity of a wild mushroom growing under the cover of a 200-year-old pine tree... 

    But before you head into the wilds with your dog, it's important to choose your trail carefully, carry a GPS tracker, know your pets (and your own) limitations, and let others know exactly where you’re going and when you plan to return.

    Hiking with dogs requires only slightly more planning. Rules and regulations vary according to trail-head and park areas, so be sure to contact your local forest service before taking your pets along. Start slowly and work into more intense trail heads or you may find yourself carrying an exhausted dog out in your backpack.

    There’s a hike for whatever part of the country you’re in and whatever skill level you’re working around, but these are a few of our favorite day hikes around the country.

    Read More
  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
  • The FeedSafe Feeding Station for Feeding Individual Diets

    In multi-pet homes, keeping pets out of the others food is of critical importance. If you have a chow-hound who loves to invade your cat's food bowls (or any other situation that requires feeding individual diets in multi-pet homes), we have a solution for you.

    The name of this innovative product is the Feed-Safe Feeding Station.

    Feed Safe is a durable enclosure that easily stops larger pets from raiding your smaller pet's food bowl. Not only does this stop other your dog from raiding your cat's food, it can give critters like ferrets a safe place to eat while they're roaming around in their free time. It can also be easily adjusted to help separate kitten or puppy food from the mama-cat or mama-dog.

    This is also a very useful solution for animals who tend to be slow eaters, or those who are on a prescription diet.

    Another unexpected benefit was being able to keep the cats off the counters! We admit - we have some bad habits and the cats will usually eat their canned food on the counter. This is not the cleanest way to handle the situation, but placing the food on the floor became impossible with our quick acting dogs. This is a great way to let your cats eat their canned foods at their own pace without being on the counter top and without being harassed by larger pets.

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
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Halloween Yards You Won't Want to Miss

I've never been a fan of Halloween. To me, it symbolizes a time of year when I have to stress Read More

Monitoring Your Pet Remotely

Wearable Technology Technology has come a long way in the past few years, and that's a good thing. Nearly all Read More

RemoteLync Protects Pets Against Fire and CO2

In early July, authorities reported that 14 dogs had died in a fire at a central California boarding facility. In Read More

4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best Read More

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More

New Pill Paste for Horses Make Pilling Horses Easy

horse at fencehorse at fenceGiving a horse a pill can be a challenge. There isn’t a horse alive who can’t Read More
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Today, the US Postal Service (USPS) released the "Top Dog Bite Cities" - a list of the nation's most common dog attack locales. Houston, Texas tops the list with 62 letter carriers attacked in 2010. San Diego, CA and Columbus, OH came in second and third with a total of 45 postal carrier bites in each city, while Los Angeles came in a not-so-distant fourth with 44 attacks. A little surprisingly was Louisville, KY who ranked fifth with 40 bites and San Antonio, TX with thirty. Cleveland, OH and Phoenix, AZ ranked 8th and 9th the national attacks with 38 in each city. These findings were released in recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which falls on May 15–21 of this year. On a national level, a total of 5,669 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities.  But when you look at the total average, that's not so bad. Dogs bite over 4.7 million Americans nationally - but less than 1 percent of those bitten are postal workers.

“We often hear two comments relating to the Postal Service, ‘the check’s in the mail,’ and ‘don’t worry, my dog won’t bite’. Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston Postmaster. “Working with animal behavior experts, we’ve developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.” The top ten dog-bite cities are listed here (click here for a complete list):

Rank City State # of Bites
1 Houston TX 62
2 San Diego CA 45
3 Columbus OH 45
4 Los Angeles CA 44
5 Louisville KY 40
6 San Antonio TX 39
7 St. Louis MO 39
8 Cleveland OH 38
9 Phoenix AZ 38
10 Minneapolis MN 35

While we know the risks that city, state and federal employees are forced to deal with each day, what is more important about this report is preventing dog attacks before they happen.

“Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they’re high school seniors,” said Dr. John Fraser, of the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s so important for parents to supervise young children around dogs at all times, and it's just as important for children to be taught from an early age how to keep from being bitten.”

As responsible pet owners, it's our task to ensure our pets are well-cared for and under control at all times. Below is a list of ways that we can accomplish this.

  • Make sure your pets are licensed, spayed/neutered and current on vaccinations. Oftentimes, a reason for biting is because the animal is sick or in physical pain. Being a responsible caretaker means keeping pets healthy.
  • Obedience training can help any caretaker understand their pets. Some dogs just don't play well with others. If you have a pet who prefers to avoid crowds, listen to them.
  • Don't leave your pets alone for long periods of time. Dogs are social animals and do best when they are with their "pack." Whether you have one pet or twelve, it's important to allow regular interaction with you and your family. Keeping dogs tethered or confined for long periods of time can create "biters".
  • A dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey, so don't become prey. Avoid running from a dog, and never approach a pet that is tethered or confined.
  • Keep your pets leashed and never approach a dog that is leashed without permission from the owner. Whether the dog is a working or service animal, or just needs to feel a little more secure, it's never a good idea to approach an animal on a leash without express permission. This includes lowering your hand to 'brush past" the dog.
  • If an attack is imminent, do your best to place something between you and the dog. Anything from an umbrella to a backpack can be an effective deterrent.
  • When people come to your home, keep animal secured. Oftentimes, you don't know how a dog will react to an individual until it's too late. Dogs can be protective of their terrirtory and may interpret the actions of others in a way that is threatening.
  • Train children on how to approach animals. Never allow your children, or anyone else's children, to run towards your dog. The sudden movement can often startle an animal, and a pet that otherwise would never bite, may do so when startled.

“Dog bite prevention education cannot begin early enough,” said Kelly Voigt, 19, the victim of a savage dog attack when she was seven years old. She endured the pain of 100 stitches to her face as part of her recovery The experience was the catalyst behind the creation of Prevent The Bite, a non-profit organization that promotes dog bite prevention to young children. To date, Voigt has spoken before more than 10,000 elementary school students. To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA developed an online brochure:  www.avma.org/press/publichealth/dogbite/mediakit.asp. The AVMA also maintains a dog bite prevention facebook page. National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association and is licensed for use to the United States Postal Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery.

Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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